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Abstract Algebra: An Introduction is set apart by its thematic development and organization. The chapters are organized around two themes: arithmetic and congruence. Each theme is developed first for the integers, then for polynomials, and finally for rings and groups. This enables students to see where many abstract concepts come from, why they are important, and how they relate to one another. New to this edition is a "groups first" option that enables those who prefer to cover groups before rings to do so easily.